Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Repeat: Lykke Li - Sadness Is a Blessing

I'm moving to Stockholm. Sweden has everything I need. The best pop music (Robyn), the best folk singer (Tallest Man on Earth), the most energetic rock outfit (The Hives) and now the best brooding, damaged femme fatale, Ms. Lykke Li. She won me over instantly with "Dance, Dance, Dance" off her 2008 release Youth Novels, but this years Wounded Rhymes has her ditching some of the cutesy, and going for the throat.

The just released music video for 'Sadness Is a Blessing' is the antithesis of the joyous "Dance Dance Dance', but no less affecting. Li has never been one for monologues, preferring to dance when the right words don't come. It's her celebration and her depression, whirling and twisting with the concentrated frenzy of a child. In Sadness is a Blessing, she seems somewhere in between, declaring her sadness both a pearl and a curse. It's something she has known well and is resigned to forever be near, like a doting boyfriend.

As she drinks heavily in a silent restaurant and begins her dance, there's still a glimmering happiness present in the song, even as she is subdued by waiters and tries to wriggle herself free. Even her most devastating songs always carry a hopeful glow, as though she is remembering these miseries with nostalgia, knowing that it made her who she is today. It's a spirit that cannot be restrained.

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